Many people today suffer from a variety of stomach problems. You may be one of them. If so, you know how a case of diarrhea or nausea and vomiting can ruin your plans for the entire day. Heartburn can torment you in the late night hours as well as spoil the enjoyment of a good meal. While most of these are temporary annoyances, persistent stomach ailments should cause you to seek out medical intervention. Sometimes these are symptoms of much more serious conditions.
Diarrhea is unpleasant, embarrassing and sometimes even painful. The constant visits to the bathroom, and attacks of watery, loose stool often occur at the most inconvenient times. Many things can cause these stomach problems, such as e-coli or other bacterial infections and even food poisoning. Some of us have certain foods, like milk or other dairy products, that can set off a bout of diarrhea. But it might not just be your food. Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn’s Disease both list diarrhea as one of their symptoms.
In the case of food poisoning or bacterial infections, your symptoms will usually lessen by consuming only a clear liquid diet within 24 hours. Drink as much fluid as you can because dehydration can be a real concern. To avoid this problem in the first place, always practice good food safety habits in the kitchen, insist on well-cooked food, and return food that is served to you looking as though it has been sitting out for some time, especially if mayonnaise is involved. If mucous or blood shows in your stools, consult a doctor immediately.
Nausea and bouts of vomiting are rarely so severe as to threaten your life, but they can cause severe dehydration. Many common causes of these stomach problems are pregnancy, vertigo due to motion sickness, an inner ear infection, reactions to a medicine, food or carbon monoxide poisoning, or even a brain injury. Sometimes breathing slowly with deep breaths can help calm your stomach, as well as taking vitamin B6 or ginger supplements. You can receive prescription antihistamines that can help some of these symptoms.
Heartburn is a burning sensation in your upper abdomen or chest that often mimics the effects of heart disease. Because of this, a doctor should be made aware of your condition if it does not respond to OTC acid buffers and H2 blockers. To reduce acid reflux you should quit smoking and drinking carbonated drinks. Raising the top of your bed, eating small meals, and avoiding coffee, chocolate, fatty foods, and whole milk has also been shown to help.
Most stomach problems can be improved with lifestyle changes such as these, but more serious ones will need medical treatment including possible surgery.
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